Perry W. Ward, president of Lawson State Community College (LSCC), recently received recognition at the White House as a “Champion of Change,” which is part of President Barack Obama’s Winning the Future initiative.
LSCC is a National Training Center member of the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (NAFTC), and Ward is among other college presidents, as “Champions of Change,” who were selected because of the impact they have had on their communities and their approaches and solutions in advancing educational and workforce opportunities.
“This was an outstanding honor for the college to be recognized by the White House and the U.S. Department of Education for our workforce development programs and services,” said Ward. “I was excited about the acknowledgement it brings to the College and to the Alabama Community College System, especially since Lawson State was the only two-year college from Alabama.”
With an emphasis on President Obama’s plan to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world, Ward participated in a roundtable discussion with other invited community college leaders who are doing innovative work in their communities to raise the standards of having the best educated and most competitive workforce in the world.
Jill Biden, a community college instructor and wife of Vice President Joe Biden, was present to meet the group and recognize their successes.
“The roundtable brought forth ideas and exchanges on workforce development and the pathway to creating continued discussion and dialogues with the Department of Education and initiatives that can be considered around the country,” Ward said.
Lawson State was noted for its various partnerships and training initiatives, chiefly among them the automotive industry in Alabama. The college’s Corporate Services Division and the Alabama Center for Automotive Excellence (ACAE) take a lead role in alternative fuels training. Last year, ACAE unveiled its new compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station to provide training for current and future CNG automobile technicians.
The college has partnerships with General Motors, Ford and Toyota, and college faculty have participated in a number of alternative fuels training sessions offered locally and at West Virginia University through the college’s partnership with the NAFTC.